Today, Governor Roy Cooper and North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) Secretary Kody H. Kinsley attended the launch of a Trillium Health Resources mobile integrated care unit in Washington County. With funding from NCDHHS, Trillium Health Resources is launching seven mobile health clinics throughout Eastern North Carolina to help bring mental health and substance abuse counseling to rural communities.
“It’s just as important to take care of our mental health as it is our physical health,” Governor Cooper said. “We want everyone in our state to have access to quality health care, and these mobile clinics will help reach our rural and historically underserved communities.”
"To provide whole-person care, we must consider physical and mental health,” Secretary Kinsley said. “This innovative mobile unit integrates care and removes barriers, meeting people where they are to ensure mental health care is accessible to everyone.”
“Trillium is extremely grateful to our partners at NC DHHS for allowing us the opportunity to work with our providers to purchase these mobile clinics,” said Joy Futrell, MBA, CEO of Trillium Health Resources. “The mobile clinics are vital in increasing capacity and access to services in our rural areas where providers cannot always find or afford office space, and also reducing health disparities for people of color. The clinics allow the people who might not otherwise be able to access services due to transportation or other barriers to receive services in their community and in a timely and efficient manner so that they can improve their lives.”
In July 2021, Trillium Health Resources launched its first mobile integrated care clinic for Perquimans and surrounding counties. In December 2021, NCDHHS awarded $4.4 million to organizations to better reach those with substance use disorders. Trillium received $1.42 million to create seven additional mobile health clinics. The mobile clinics offer mental health screenings, substance use disorder treatment, traditional therapy, medication management via telemedicine, care management and crisis and disaster response.
Governor Cooper and his administration continue to prioritize mental health care and substance abuse prevention and treatment. In August 2020, Governor Cooper directed $40 million of federal CARES Act money to hiring more school nurses, counselors, social workers and psychologists in our public schools. Since May 2021, the Governor has allocated $5 million of Governor’s Emergency Education Relief (GEER) II funds to the UNC System for mental health support including initiatives such as the Mental Health Awareness and Response Training and After Hours Telephonic Behavioral Health Service. In February 2022, NCDHHS launched a Division of Child and Family Well-Being that focuses on meeting the health, social and educational needs of children and youth.
As the pandemic continues to impact people’s mental health, Governor Cooper and his administration have taken measures to help North Carolinians navigate the impact of COVID-19. In 2020, NCDHHS established two new mental health resources, the Hope4NC Helpline and Hope4Healers Helpline. The helplines connect North Carolinians to additional mental health support to help cope during times of crisis and provide support for health care professionals, emergency medical specialists, first responders and other staff who work in health care settings and their families.
North Carolina is part of a historic $26 billion agreement that will help bring desperately needed relief to communities impacted by opioids. The funds will be used to support treatment, recovery, harm reduction and other life-saving programs and services in communities throughout the state. North Carolina’s Opioid and Substance Use Action Plan lays out concrete strategies to advance prevention, reduce harm and connect people to the care that they need.